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IndyCar owner Roger Penske meets with IndyCar team owners at Barber Motorsports Park

IndyCar Team Owners Before Meeting with Roger Penske
IndyCar Team Owners Before Meeting with Roger Penske

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – IndyCar owner Roger Penske called all IndyCar owners and team principals together for an unscheduled meeting Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park.

Penske and IndyCar are hoping to restore credulity and integrity to the NTT IndyCar Series after March 10 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg race winner Josef Newgarden of Team Penske was disqualified. Also, teammate and third-place finisher Scott McLaughlin was disqualified and teammate Will Power was penalized after it was determined that Team Penske had manipulated and illegally used the push-to-pass system at St. Petersburg.

IndyCar team owners were summoned to Penske’s office motorhome in the paddock at Barber Motorsports Park for a meeting that began 30 minutes before IndyCar’s Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix qualification session on Saturday.

Many of the team owners scrambled out of the meeting as Saturday’s qualifications began.

AJ Foyt Racing President Larry Foyt was the first to leave because he was on the radio with his two drivers for qualifications.

Five minutes later, the rest of the team owners exited the motorhome with very little detail of what was said in the meeting with the 87-year-old Penske.

“It went OK,” Andretti Global team owner Michael Andretti told NBCSports.com. “We didn’t really learn a lot, but it was a good talking session among everybody.”

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team co-owner Bobby Rahal gave his initial thoughts on meeting with Penske.

“It was a good talk,” Rahal told NBCSports.com. “It’s always good to hear from the boss.

“Absolutely.”

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When team owner Chip Ganassi was asked about the meeting, his response was, “What meeting?” with a smile. “I don’t know what you are talking about.

“C’mon, you know I can’t say anything.”

Ed Carpenter of Ed Carpenter Racing called it a “private conversation that we all appreciated and we’ll get on with the current season.

“It’s obvious what we were talking about in there but what we talked about in there will remain in there from my standpoint will remain in there. I can’t give you more.

“We all appreciate him (Penske) gathering us together.”

Penske is in the unique position of owning both IndyCar and Team Penske, the IndyCar Series team that was penalized by IndyCar officials for the push-to-pass manipulation. His IndyCar team has accepted the penalty and will not appeal.

It was the first disqualification for an IndyCar Series race winner since Al Unser, Jr. at Portland in June 1995. Team Penske appealed that decision 29 years ago and Unser got the victory back after the 1995 season concluded.

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500